The Purge 3: Election Year – Trailer

Screenshot 2016-02-12 19.49.08.pngYou can’t say that James DeMarco’s Purge movies aren’t ambitious.  The first in the series was essentially a high-concept home invasion thriller with horror overtones.

The sequel, The Purge: Anarchy took the home invasion idea, and introduced it into a city-sized canvas. This was the movie where you can see inklings of a political consciousness to the barbarous kull coming to the fore.

And with The Purge: Election Year events come to a head as the political system that spawned the monstrous assault on flesh and civil liberties, itself comes under assault.

That being said, I hope the movie uses its more overtly political thrust to to satirize some of our current politicians, which would not only could be fun, but add an extra layer of interest.

By the way, why is it that online dictionaries don’t have the word ‘kull?’  I know it’s a word, but apparently few other people do.

Update:  The reason the dictionary doesn’t have ‘kull’ is because it’s traditionally spelled ‘cull.’  Duh.

(Bruce) Wayne’s World

I didn’t particularly like the first two trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice  because they’re both filed with much bombast and thunder–as far as I can tell–signifying very little.  And I might be reading into things a bit, but if feels as if director Zach Snyder equates blowing things up with seriousness, which if that were true would put Michael Bay on the same hallowed ground as Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock.

Though with the third–and apparently the last–trailer Snyder’s finally gotten the tone right, eschewing large scale mayhem for something a bit more intimate as Batman fights a group of well-armed thugs.

The combat seems very evocative of the fighting in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, except more CGI-enhanced .

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The Jungle Book Official Super Bowl Trailer

To be honest a live-action movie based Rudyard Kipling stories doesn’t particularly interest me, though seeing the trailer, it looks pretty awesome.

The action looks great, and the CGI seems convincing though there’s only one problem I can see, namely that the voice actors are so recognizable that I found myself trying to find out who was speaking, as opposed to just watching the trailer.

That being said, the movie will probably be a bit more immersive.

It’s good to see John Favreau back.  His last movie, Chef, was really good but on a much smaller scale.  The Jungle Book is apparently his move back into big-budget, effects-heavy fare.

(And I haven’t forgotten about the Captain America: Civil War, A-Men Apocalypse or Independence Day: Resurgence trailers, though they demand I get off my ass and cut a video).

Gods Of Egypt – Trailer 2

   
I meant to post the latest Gods Of Egypt trailer yesterday.  I didn’t because I haven’t gotten around to changing my iMac’s hard drive–I don’t own any Torx screwdrivers, though I intend to remedy that over the weekend. 

As a result this is my first post made entirely on an iPad.  From images to video, it’s all assembled with the (free) WordPress application. 

And while the controls don’t feel as precise as I am accustomed to dealing with, it does the job admirably. 

As I’ve said before, Alex Proyas is a talented director, but as far as I am concerned there’s nothing about this trailer that makes me want to see Gods Of Egypt

And that’s not to say that the visuals, though a bit gaudy at times, aren’t up to snuff because we’re talking about Alex Proyas here, who’s other movies (The Crow, Dark City, I Robot) also tended to be effects-heavy. 

Never mind white-washed Egypt (my intent is not to minimize diversity behind and in front of the camera, though there are far more knowledgable people writing about that very thing) more so than a narrative that  appears to be one we have seen before:  a young person faces near-insurmountable odds in an effort to stop an evil from taking over the world. 

It’s a story older than Star Wars because it works, though the key to using such a well-worn trope effectively is that people can’t immediately know that what you’re throwing at them they have seen–in one form or another–hundreds, if not thousands of times prior. 

And that’s where Gods Of Egypt falls short: Despite that it’s not yet been released in theaters, it already feels too familiar. 

Triple 9 Official Trailers 1 & 2

Can I say that John Hillcoat’s Triple 9 looks awesome?  Heist/police thriller are a guilty pleasure of mine because when they’re done well, they’re a thing of beauty.

In particular I enjoyed Bruce Malmuth’s Nighthawks (a Sylvester Stallone vehicle about a terrorist on the loose in New York, and the cops in pursuit of said terrorists), Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day (David Ayer’s story is only kept aloft by Fuqua’s direction and Denzel Washington’s acting), Spike Lee’s Inside Man and Frank Oz’s The Score, to name a few.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the reboot (what?) of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, directed by Jean-Francois Richet, which is a really entertaining movie and better in its way than the original.

The Punisher We Need

For some reason Marvel Comics’ Punisher has been a difficult nut to crack–despite the fact that the character is essentially Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) from 1974’s Death Wish, a movie that went on to do pretty well at the box office.

His first appearance was in New World Pictures 1984 movie The Punisher, and despite the criticism that surrounds that movie, wasn’t terrible–which isn’t to imply that it was great, though it was enjoyable in its own way–and Dolph Lindgren (and his ever-present Swedish accent) interpreted the material pretty well.

Unfortunately, not even the Punisher couldn’t get people into theaters, and the movie flopped.

The character was revisited again in LionsGate’s 2004 movie The Punisher, this time starring Thomas Jane.

Jane does pretty well in the role, despite not being as physically similar to the character as Lundgren.

And it once again underperforms–despite that if you move forward ten years to 2014 Denzel Washington starred in the successful movie interpretation of The Equalizer (based on a 1985 CBS television series) who essentially IS the Punisher.

Lionsgate tried again in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone which was similar in tone to the 1984 movie (with its violence intact and intensified, if nothing else).

And it too didn’t do that well, and since you’d be lucky to get one chance at success, never mind three, you’d be safe in assuming that the Punisher had killed his last opponent. Continue reading

Fantastic Four – Review

Screenshot 2016-01-25 00.03.26.png

I have to say that I didn’t hate this movie.  It’s not the Fantastic Four movie I would have made if given the chance, but it’s not terrible; though it is needlessly grim–pardon the pun–but that’s not necessarily the same thing as bad.

And you might also be wondering what took me so long to actually see it, and I’d answer that Josh Trank’s movie was one of the worse reviewed movies of last year, so I wasn’t in any particular hurry to catch it.

The fact that I rented it via iTunes for $5.99–as opposed to $10 or more for a movie ticket–may have a little to do with my feelings as well.  (What also might is that Josh Trank was demonized in various media ways few people who haven’t been accused of either peodphilia or poisoning the water of their constituents have been).

Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) is the goverment man who intends to use the intrepid team as weapons, though the thing is, he makes a lot of sense.  Not only is the government financing the Baxter Institute, but he had the audacity to suggest that NASA be brought in to explore the new world the transporter opens up. 

The thing is, that’s what NASA does!  Yet because of a little Dutch courage, our four intrepid voyagers decide to journey into mystery.  

The movie makes little sense, in that why would the inventors of a teleportation device, knowing that it opens a door into an alternate world–the word ‘dimension’ isn’t interchangeable with ‘world’–even want to be the first humans to use it?

That’s like the people who invented the first atomic bomb actually flew aboard the planes that dropped them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is dumb for all sorts of reasons. 

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